Welcome, welcome! Thanks for taking the time to read about our crazy, fun life. Look around to learn about us, our adoption story, or to find out how to contact us. Feel free to make comments (LOVE comments). We do have the comment moderator on, so if you want it private, just say so. Also, we have pass along cards. If you'd like some, just let us know! Thanks again and happy reading!

Friday, December 31, 2010

Awesome story and relation to that story

As I was looking at blogs the other day, Stefanie, she's one of the incredible birth mom's that I've somewhat come to know over the internet, did an incredible post. Here it is for you to read. Yeah, I could relate it but I wouldn't do the story justice. Sorry! Totally worth it to read the story. OH! Thank you so incredibly much, Stefanie, for letting me share this and for letting me blog stalk you!

Here is why I choose to share this on my blog though. First off, the lady who's story this is, is a nurse too, so I can totally 100% relate having a hectic day and flowers making it all better. There have been a few shifts where I was having a bad day, Jared ended up surprising me with flowers, and it just brightened my day so much! I've never been asked to give up the flowers Jared gave me, but I could imagine I'd really struggle with it. I want to say I'd be strong enough to give up the flowers, but I don't know that I would be, to be honest. The flowers just give you that extra ... love that you need to make it to the end of the day. To know that something better is waiting if you do give up the flowers though... it would make it worth the initial pain.

I also, obviously, can relate on the adoption part Stefanie did. I guess it's hypocritical of me to expect someone to give up their "flowers" when I don't know that I could. Maybe that's why I have the utmost respect and such a great love for all birth moms... and birth families! Anyway~ when Stefanie changes the elderly woman's story into an adoptive mom's story it just really struck home. Mine is a bit different because I didn't barely find out that we couldn't conceive or struggle getting pregnant. It's all the same though in that I can't biologically have kids, I have emotional struggles about it, and I long to be a mom one day. I know that our birth mom, whoever she may be, is an angel and I can't wait to have her be a part of our life!!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

CHRISTMAS!!!

As promised here's our Christmas post. It was awesome. We didn't do anything like extraordinary, but we had fun. The 4 sisters went out to lunch, we visited, had more food involved, cooked, and cleaned. Jared and I were able to finish our Christmas shopping (I blame school for not getting it done before :o) ) We read Luke 2, watched Shan and Mel perform, and just had fun. I had the opportunity to meet up with two of my best friends, Jessi and Paula. I haven't seen Jess since my wedding! It was so fun being with those two! So fun. Anyway~ hope you enjoy the pictures. I've only put 5 of them. If you want to see more then look at our Picasa album (there's a link under the picture heading thing on here) or theres even more than picasa on facebook. ENJOY! Oh... be sure to watch the video. It was so hilarious I thought.

Shan and Josh


Shan and Mel... when we were younger Nate (my bro.) would make us sit on his lap while he would play the piano. Shan and Mel were reenacting this memory.


Me with my L.P.N. ornament. Thank you Anna!!


Jared with his Buddy ornament.


Jessi, me and Paula (left to right). So fun seeing them


And here's the hilarious video


Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Adoptive parent retreat

I have been asked to spread the word and happy to spread this... there's an adoptive parent retreat happening soon! So excited. I hope we can go. School may get in the way. Anyway~ click here to find out the details. Please feel free to spread the word yourself. Anybody who is thinking about adopting, hoping to adopt (like us), and have adopted is welcome to come!! Hope to see all you adoptive couples there.

HALLELUJAH... a post

Yes... we are still alive. Busy as ever, but alive. hehe Let's see what we've been up to

Jared- staying busy at work. They put out a release on Dec. 16th! Scouts is kind of low key with all the holidays, but he is still really involved. On Dec. 18th some of his scouts came over and they earned 4 merit badges!! So proud of them. They all work hard. Jared is still filling in for the 10 yr. old class. He's so loving it. I still stand scouts is where his heart is though.

Devin- finished 3rd semester of nursing school on Dec. 15th!!! So freakin' excited. I only have one more semester until I earn my associates in nursing and can sit for boards. Since finishing school I have been busy trying to catch up on things that I neglect during the semester. Things like organizing, running errands, and getting things done around the house.

I think I mentioned we went to Las Vegas to celebrate Thanksgiving with my side of our family. We also went to Las Vegas for Christmas. So fun! I'll be doing a separate post for that. Um... OH! We celebrated our 4 year anniversary yesterday. I totally meant to take pictures, but yeah... didn't happen. Here's what we did though. We had breakfast and then went to the temple. That ended up taking all morning. We went to Chick-Fil-A for lunch, then went to go see "Despicable Me". So dang cute. That movie is definitely one we'll be buying. I highly recommend it. We came home to get a shopping list together, then we went to get the groceries. After that we just had dinner and hung out. It was such a nice, relaxing day. I loved just being with Jared and not being stressed. My goal for the day was to not do anything I didn't have to and just relax. I think I was successful. You'd have to ask Jared though. Anyway~ that's about it for us. Hope you all are having a great holiday season!!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Guest blogger- Mom Zobrist

YAY! Finally a post :o) But it's not from me. I PROMISE mine is coming soon. I finally got my mom's wonderful feelings on adoption. My mom is my hero! She is an incredible woman. She's so strong in all she does. I hope to become at least half the woman she is. Anyway~ I hope you enjoy reading her thoughts


most of the family. My mom didn't want her picture up here. I figured... I'm not putting her picture. I'm putting a family picture up :o) I love you Mom!!


Devin has requested that I share some of my feelings relating to adoption, and how I feel about being a grandmother to an adopted child.

I began pondering the reality of adoption some years ago, as a teenager I was told that there was a very real possibility that I would never be able to bear children. I struggled to understand what that would mean to me and eventually I concluded that adopting a child would be a wonderful thing and if I could not have children of my own I would most definitely adopt. Years later my sister was face with the most difficult decision of her life. She was expecting a child. A child that she desperately loved, but sadly she was not in a position to give this child the life she knew he deserved and she made the agonizing decision to place him in the arms of a couple who could not give birth to children of their own. I watched her pain, I still see her pain; she knows that she made the correct decision but it still hurts and there is a hole in her heart. She longs to know where he is, to see the man he has become and to let him know that she let him go out of love. Through her I have come to glimpse the pain that a birth mother will go through to give the precious gift of a child to my lovely daughter and her wonderful husband Jared.

I remember well when Devin was born and the Dr. told me that there was a possibility that she had Turner’s Syndrome and briefly explained what that would mean in our life. My thought at the time was something to the effect that if I was going to have a child with special needs I surely got off easy. Test later proved that Devin did indeed have Turner’s Syndrome, I learned what I could, and enjoyed my precious baby. Devin did have some critical health problems as an infant. She weighed 9 lbs. when she was born, she still weighed 9 lbs. on her first birthday; the first year was rough and many hours were spent in and out of doctor offices. I was terrified that Devin’s life on earth would be short. As it turned out she out grew her problems, and by her first birthday my biggest concern was putting a little fat on her bones. Her problem was in no way related to the lack of an X chromosome.

From the time of her birth we were very open with Devin and her siblings concerning the differences and challenges that resulted from Devin’s birth defect. We worked around what we needed too, we joked about her short stature and we lived our lives in a very normal way. We frequently discussed the fact that Devin would be unable to give birth to children of her own, and we would often put in our orders for the type of child we wanted. We had fun with it but we all are in agreement that any child is to be cherished and any child would be welcome not only in Jared and Devin’s home but in our family as well.

Due to her kind and loving disposition Devin was always everyone’s favorite sister. She was quick to give a helping hand to any member of the family and her brothers and sisters were frequently guilty of taking advantage of her – but she didn’t care. Devin is still quick to offer a helping hand to anyone in need, she loves to work and she loves to help others. Her ability to love everyone is a wonderful gift and it will serve her well in her chosen profession and as an adoptive mother.

I believe that a child is a gift from God to be cherished and loved and that is true whether it be an adoptive or birth child. I eagerly look forward to the day when I will hold Devin and Jared’s child in my arms and give thanks to my Heavenly Father for their precious miracle.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

blankets for birthmoms

This last month for pack meeting we did a couple of service projects. One of them is called "Blankets for Birthmom". Its an awesome charity our friend Jessalynn started. To see a blog post talking about them click here Just an FYI though... I'd double check the mailing address with her. Here are pictures during our time making the blankets.

Jessalynn telling us about the great charity.


Making the blankets


Another picture of making the blankets


Saturday, December 4, 2010

Recent happenings

As promised, here's an update on what's been going on with us. It's nothing to much, but it's been fun!! Let's start by talking about Buddy, "the horse" :o) Jared's brother and his family were over when we decided one weekend that our nephew wanted to ride Buddy. I thought it was cute!

Both of them don't quite know what's going on.


"Come on horsey! Get up!"



Next is Thanksgiving. We went down to good old Las Vegas and spent it with my side of our family. Unfortunately I was sick like the whole time we were down there, but it was still a blast. Here are some pictures of the trip.

My 3 beautiful sisters when we went to go see "Harry Potter".


Crazy sisters!!!


Anna thought that our 7 yr. old nephew needed to learn how to change a diaper. Here's T learning:


And of course- lots of wrestling happened.


As always, we have been up to our normal scouting responsibilities. Love those boys! It has been so fun working with them and the other leaders. Here's a picture of Jared performing an advancement ceremony. These boys earned their wolf!


We went to see Michael McLean's "The Forgotten Carols". LOVE IT!!! Click here to learn about it. I think it should become a family tradition for us. Still trying to convince Jared of that one though. ;o) No, he likes it. He just thinks they need to change it up a bit. Ask him if you want to know how.

Jared's bored waiting for the program to start.


"Cheese!"


From our seats. Definitely wasn't the best seats... but it was still great.



Oh! AND the most exciting news of all (no, we have not been chosen for adoption) BUT we got a new niece!!!! Little miss Maggie was born on Tues., Nov. 30. Unfortunately we haven't seen her yet since she was born in TX. But hopefully before to long. Congratulations Tyler and Jess!!! Hope all is going well for all of you. Keep us posted on your happenings. Love to all

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Guest blogger- Dad Payne

No, I have not fallen off the face of the planet. We went out of town for Thanksgiving (yes, that post is coming), I got sick, and yeah. Anyway~ our next guest blogger is Dad Payne. He's been such a great example to us! He's true a man to look up to. Thanks so much for doing the Dad! We did ask others to write and we're still waiting to get theirs. I'll post them when we get it. Anyway~ enjoy!


taken at our wedding- Dec. 2006. Totally "like father, like son", don't you think?

True Joys of Life


Adjacent to my office at work is a 35 year old young lady. She is a buyer and handles million dollar transactions on a regular basis. I would describe her as being very confident, self-assured and professional. She spends long hours at work and receives much praise from co-workers. Outside of work she can be found training horses. She absolutely loves it. She appears to be happy, but I can honestly say I feel sorry for her because she is so busy climbing the corporate ladder she has no time for the greatest joys in life, KIDS!


Being the father of ten kids, my greatest moments of happiness and deepest sorrows are all bundled up in a package I call joy. Kris and I are thrilled to the bone to listen to our girls sing. Jeni and Krystal continue to uplift and inspire the hearts of our church friends and families as they lift their voices to heaven with the voices of angles. Only one percent of all Boy Scouts become Eagle Scouts. Five of our eight sons have climbed the summit of this mountain with the other close to the peak. On the spiritual side of the house, six of our sons have chosen to serve God for two years at their own time and expense. They have all been successful to bring souls to God in Nebraska, Kosrae (Sm. Pacific Island), San Diego, Brazil, Peru, Massachusetts. All of our sons are worthy priesthood holders. Jeni continues to shine as she shapes and molds the hearts of three of our grandkids. Speaking of grandkids we have been blessed with 12 wonderful souls with two more on the way. If I had known how wonderful grandkids were we would have just skipped the kid phase (they are great, all the fun and no work). All of our married kids (7) chose to start their marriage in God’s holy temple for time and all eternity. All of the grandkids are sealed to them since they were born in the covenant.


I am not here to tell you that life is without bumps and dips. However, with the prayer and support of family, teachers and friends we are able to rise one more time then we fall. The Payne’s are not quitters and with the help of God they will succeed. All of our kids come from a long line of love and will pass on, to the next generation, this Legacy of Love. I hope Jared and Devin will be given the opportunity to pass on to their adopted children this Legacy of Love. I can honestly tell you that the grandparents wait with open arms to embrace these new family members, for they represent the True Joys of Life.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Guest blogger- Anna

Our next guest blogger is one of my older sisters, Anna. I was so excited when she volunteered to do this! My sisters and I have talked about when I adopt... but we never talked about what adoption means. It was great to read her thoughts. Thank you Anna! Love you!!!


I don't know what year, but this was one of her birthdays


I remember when I was about nine years old and watching my mother give Devin a shot. Sometimes this shot would be in her leg or arm or butt. Almost never in her belly; and while the stomach is the best place to get a shot Devin hated having it done there because she couldn't stand seeing the needle going into herself. One time (and i don't remember who asked) one of us kids asked my mom, why she flicks the needle, turns it upside down and pushes the bubble out. She said because if she left the bubble in the needle then Devin could get a bubble in her butt and that would not be good. Hence why Devin has the nickname Bubble Butt.

I do not remember a time when i didn't know that Devin couldn't have kids. It was just a fact of life. My mom was always straight forth and honest with any questions that we had. Like why Devin got shots every day, why she was so much shorter, what are all the docotrs appointments for and why is she so happy that her bones are eight years old now. Shes ten!
I always knew it was because she had turners syndrome. I never fully understood what turners syndrome was; and even today while I can tell you what it is, and what some of the symptoms are, I don't think I fully understand it completely.
One of the biggest effects of turners syndrome is that the woman can not ever have any kids; her ovaries don't ever develop. Growing up we like to tell Devin that she as lucky she couldn't have kids because she never had to get fat, and she got to pick her kids and she could have the black baby girl that we always wanted! (we love pouffy hair in my family)


It was never a question if Devin was going to adopt, it was when and what kind of baby she is going to get! All of her sisters voted for her to have a little black girl, and her mother would always say that she tought Devin should have a little Asian baby; and my father a Hispanic one. (we want a family of color lol)
That was our own sadistic way of trying to make Devin feel better on those occasional days when you could see she was having a hard time with not being able to have a baby. Devin never felt like she was allowed to cry over it, she never thought that she was allowed to be sad about it, or even mourn. She always put on a brave face, she never cursed the Lord or got mad at anyone else over it. Because of that, she is one of the strongest women I know for having the faith that one day god will give her and Jared a baby. Jared is a strong man for going into a marriage knowing that he can never have his own natural children. Most men wouldn't. Any baby they get is going to be so lucky to have them as parents. Even if Jared does wear the silly toe shoes.



Adoption to me is just one of Gods many miracles. Its his way of being able to turn a storm cloud for one family into a rainbow for another.
Like Jared's mom said 'placing your baby up for adoption is one of the most selfless act someone could do' I agree. It pains me to watch Devin as she try to put on a brave face when another one of her friends or family member get pregnant and has another baby. Devin was born a mom. She was the mother of Melissa and I growing up. She always is taking care of everyone else and thinks of herself last.
A mother is not someone that gave birth. A mother wipes the tears when they fall. She is up with her children all night when they are sick. She cries for them when they are hurt and cries when they succeed. A mother is a selfless person who puts the needs of her children before her own. Devin has been a mother and grew up in a family who's love is unconditional.
We never doubted that our mother loved us; and I know Devin and Jared's children will never doubt that they love them.
I pray everyday that Devin and Jared will get a baby of their own; and I know without a doubt that they will. I found this poem while cruzing the internet and I think it puts the pain that a soon to be mom feels about waiting to become the new mom.



I’m pregnant but my tummy isn’t showing,
And no one ever calls me “little mom”.
My neighbours simply aren’t overflowing
With questions that I’d handle with aplomb.
There are no special clothes to mark my waiting.
Nobody stops and smile as I pass by.
The absence of a due date is frustrating,
And looking at the nursery makes me cry.
When I’m “overdue”, no one will worry.
The phone won’t ring and ring as friends check in.
I can’t induce my labor in a hurry,
My new life as a parent to begin.
Adoption is a wearisome endeavour,
And waiting all alone is not much fun.
To be “with child” a year seems like forever …
Dear God, we’re ready: please send us our baby.



Thank you so much Devin for letting me be apart of adoption month on your blog. I never had the chance to sit down and think about how i truly felt about adoption. You are an amazing woman and Jared is great too. You are lucky to have found him. I can not wait for you to be blessed with your own child, and I can't wait to be her (I love boys but we need more girls!) favorite aunt.


Because we all know that I am the favorite :-)

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Guest blogger- Mom Payne

So as promised~ We have asked a couple of our family members to write down their feelings on adoption. Thank you family! Today is Mom Payne.


Jared and his mom at our wedding- Dec. 2006

I remember the anticipation of carrying a child while he developed. What a miracle! To think that I could eat and drink and in some miraculous way those elements were transformed into a real person. How I loved my child before he was born. New life, created within me!! A new person who would live, grow and have hopes and dreams of his own. I always hoped I would be enough and be wise enough to provide the kind of life and teachings that would help him live a good and righteous live that would lead him back to the arms of God.
I think most women feel the same, especially when they hold that new baby fresh from heaven. I believe placing child for adoption is the greatest act of love next to the atonement. It is an expression of unselfishness that says you love your child enough to seek his best interest.
This one decision will change so many lives. Certainly the life of the birth mother, who gave so much of herself to provide life for another, only to feel empty arms and heart, but hopefully a new beginning for her child and for herself. It would change the life of a new family- created by the sacrifice of another. But it will have the biggest impact on their own dear child. What a quest- to choose for your child, with the help of the Lord, the family with the power to help him reach his eternal potential. I admire and appreciate you who sacrifice so much.
From the other side of the fence, I would much rather endure morning sickness, being so fat you can’t see your feet (let alone tie your shoes), and labor and delivery – rather than endure the years of wanting, waiting, hoping and praying that you would be able to start a family. You know Jared and Devin must be told his brother’s family is expecting child number 5. And you know they will be torn. They want to be happy for them, and they are. But the pain of their own empty arms is renewed and they can’t help it- they also mourn as their wound is reopened once again. The inability of a happily married couple to start a family creates a void that cannot be filled with nieces, nephews, friends or pets. I see their good hearts and know what amazing parents they will be, if given the chance. Children adore them! Jared and Devin bring out joy in children.
I pray that their faith will be sustained as they continue to wait and dream. And I admire their determination to live life fully while they wait

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Cool way to inform- edited

EDITED! Please look at the note at the bottom


I was messing around on youtube and found this video. A grandma made it about her granddaughter that has turner syndrome. I thought this would be a fun way to get the facts about turners out there. Fun way for you guys to learn about why we can't have biological kids. I won't be offended at all if you don't want to watch it. I quite enjoyed it though. Jared thought it was long. If you'd like, you be the judge.



So~ it was brought to attention that I should probably clarify something about this video. All the information is correct~ as far as I know. What needs to be clarified and talked about is how severe my turners is. In just a couple words- it's NOT! :0) I am a little on the short side (side note: I'm actually tall for a woman with turners though. Most women with turners are about I believe 4'10"... I'm 5'1"). I do have a low hair line and my nails curve up if I let them grow out. I do have thyroid problems. That's an ongoing debate between Jared and I because- he thinks it's from the turners. I think it's from my family genetics. Here's my reasoning- I wasn't diagnosed with hypothyroidism until I was 19 almost 20. Reality is it could be a combo of genetics and turners. Anyway~ my MD does have me get an echo (an ultrasound of your heart) about every 5 years. I am on hormone replacement medication. That's about it though. I do not have diabetes, any heart problems, anything like that. I live a totally normal life-- other than I can't biologically create kids.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

modifications

Jared felt like the last post I did, "Family", needed some modifications. Yeah, this is why I normally check with him before I post. lol Anyway~ just wanted to let you all know... Love to all!!!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Family

Our thoughts are this... isn't a family a family? Despite skin color, hair, eye, genetics? Meaning... a family is someone who loves and cares about each other. A family is a group of people that will always be there for you. I don't think it matters how a child comes into your home or what origin the child has... gentically, race, etc.... The important thing is that they are your child, you love them, care for them, and do your best to raise them the way you feel is right. Hope I made my point. If not... there's two ways to go about it... one is ask me! :0) Second is... my friend recently posted about the same type of thing. I feel like she took words right out of my mouth. Here's the posting if you'd like to read her thoughts. OH! She also talks about her daughter having two mommies and being honored to share the title of mom with her daughter's birth mom. Yeah, I feel the exact same way as she does. I can't wait to share the title of mom... when it's the right time. Read the posting to understand. lol Sorry! Anyway~ I have a recently heard of a couple of stories that made me feel sad. I would like to comment on them.

1) A friend of mine adopted her first and had a few children biologically after. She told me a story about when her and her husband decided to adopt... one set of parents were upset! They didn't want this sweet couple to adopt. Even to this day (which the adoption was 13 years ago) this grandma will refer to the adoptee as "my adopted grandchild". I'm sorry, but that is just heart breaking. Consequently, this adoptee has issues being with this grandparent. Which is sad grandparents are the best!


I'm so glad both sides of our family are so excited, willing, and accepting of our adopting. They constantly are asking how things are going to which we reply frustratingly slow. Jared’s side of the family is very welcoming of people into their home. There are people who live by them who are family. They may not have been adopted but are invited to family functions. My family is also very accepting and excited for us to adopt. Seems like they've always talked about the day we'd be placed and get to adopt. I'm hoping to get some of them to do a guest post... so keep coming back to read their thoughts. We happy to have such a welcoming family where our children will just be part of the family.


2) I was recently also told about a teenager in the foster care system. This teenager kept running away from foster families because the teenager just wanted to be adopted by someone of her own race. Don't get me wrong, this teenager has the right to choose what type of family they belong too. There must be a feeling of belonging when you actually look and act like the rest of your family. I once read a story about an African American girl who was adopted by a white family. She loved her family but struggled with some simple things. For example her mother could not help her much with her hair. The texture was just so different that there was not much common ground on this topic. It was hard for her to talk about these things with her Mom. I can't say there are not issues with inter racial adoptions but for me race and whatever doesn't matter in the long run. We will be a family because we care for each other and that is enough for me.

We love adoption and look forward to accepting who comes into our home with open arms and overflowing hearts.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Jared's weekly post

Little things are what makes life what it is. I was looking at this past week and became grateful for the life I have. Much of my evenings are spent just running errands with Devin. We do not do much. We go grocery shopping or go on a walk but mainly I just hang with Devin. I love being with Devin, and for some strange reason she spends her time wondering when I will get home so she can be cuddled. Now I am much obliged to take my wife in my arms and hold her, but some times she tries to pick inconvenient times. For example today I was making an Alfredo sauce for dinner and Devin wanted to be held. This may not seem bad but if you stop stirring Alfredo it burns and clumps. I was happy to turn a blind eye for a few seconds but at the time it was all I could spare. My favorite little thing is having Devin in my arms and Devin’s favorite little thing is being in my arms. That makes being together wonderful. Many times in life we look for the next big thing to help us be happier. The next thing is all this is missing from our life. The next car, the next house, the next paycheck. In reality there are always little things we have that make all the difference. Every day I am grateful for my wonderful wife and all that she does to make our lives better.
I normally do not put dates in the family letter but this week was a very fun date. We went to a football game. It was a middle school game. I had some boys playing and it sounded like something fun to do. We got bundled up and headed out. Boy does Devin come prepared to a game. She had her coat, sitting pads, and not 1, not 2, but 3 blankets. I was a little surprised she had a plan for each but she did not get very cold. She gives credit to the blankets for that. The game ended up being the championship game for the boys. They had played the other team twice before this season and lost both times. The other team did not even know what it was to loose since they had not done it all season. Our boys did their best and pulled off a 7-6 victory. Everyone went wild. I had not been to a game in years and it really was fun to cheer on the boys to victory.
This week we prepared for the parent’s favorite sacrament meeting of the year, the primary program. Saturday we went to the practice and boy was that fun. I started out in my designated position on the stand sitting on the piano bench next to Devin. I like sitting there. One of our 4 year old neighbor kids started to cry because she did not want to sit with her class. She wanted to sit with me. I was happy to oblige. About half way through the practice the primary presidency asked if I would sit with the sunbeams. One of their teachers is in Australia. I think I may have been to distracting sitting with Cambree next to Devin. Cambree stood up on my lap while singing so she was close to 6 feet tall. She also sat on my shoulders when she was suppose to be sitting down. Either way I was happy to go to the sunbeams. They have no concept of being reverent and I think that is awesome. After going through the program once and only being half way through the 2 hour practice. I took the sunbeams outside. We went running around the church looking for secret doors to go through. I knew they were all locked but the kids had a great time finding all the doors. I had a great time with the kids and they did an excellent job in the program. They got up and sang when they needed to and actually behaved pretty good. We did have one boy who half way through the program decided to leave. I cut him off and asked where he was going. He told me “I am too shy. I need to sit down.” I was excited to tell him he was not to shy and he had already sang 3 songs. He brightened up and ran back to his place.
I am also substituting as a primary teacher for the 10 year old class. Today was a lesson on the Lord’s law of health. We talked about Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. How they were taken prisoner and told to eat bad food. The day before I had made pumpkin pie so I had good food for the kids. I also brought in “wine”, grape soda. Obviously these were the bad foods to eat. I also brought in carrots and fresh homemade rolls. The kids loved all the food and we had a great time eating in class. About midway through the lesson we were talking about alcohol and how it is bad for you. One of the girls interrupted and told me how much she loved bread especially the smell of fresh bread. I then told the girls what it was when you cook bread that makes that wonderful smell, alcohol. They then got offended that I put alcohol in the bread. I then explained what yeast does and was hoping to move on. One girl was almost in tears she declared she would never eat bread again. I told her it would be alright to eat bread. She was concerned she could get drunk from eating bread. She asked what would happen if she filled the room with bread and then ate all the bread. I promptly told her she would get very fat. Everyone laughed. She later asked if it was only the smell that had alcohol. I did tell her yes even tough that is not completely true. I think she will be fine eating bread. Maybe I should give her parents a heads up just in case.
We hope that your week will be as fun filled as our was. Hopefully your kids will not have a poor primary teacher like me who makes them afraid of eating bread.

We love you all

Saturday, November 13, 2010

any ideas?

I'd love to talk more and tell more about adoption. I don't know what to write about though. Any ideas? Anything you guys want to know or what to talk about?

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Jared's feelings on adoption

Devin has has asked me to write my feelings on adoption. It all started late on a Friday night, you know how it is when you are dating. I told Devin good night and then she dropped the bomb shell. Devin told me she could not have children. I really did not know what to do so I hung out for another 15 minutes and went home. I called my parents and they did not know what to say either. They handled it much the way I did they made a few quick jokes and we moved on. Luckily for me I had a brother close by and we looked up why Devin could not have kids. We walked around and talked and that helped but it did not tell me what to do. This type of information is potentially life changing. I had always thought I would raise a family with my wife in the traditional fashion. I did not want to give up and what I thought was important, but I also knew that we could adopt. I just did not know what to think. Lucky for me that weekend was general conference and I remember one of the people talking about a couple who did not have any kids. He pointed out the strength they provided for the people around them and they had many opportunities to serve the Lord in ways couples with children could not. At this point I realized that having children is important but not the most important. We can move forward and help and serve and be fulfilled without children if that is what it came to. My parents called the next Monday and apologized for their reaction and had a big long list of scriptures and other things to help me. I am grateful for the support my parents have given over the years. Since that time I have always felt comfortable with adoption being the way we will grow our family. We spent our whole marriage looking forward to adoption and bringing in other people to our family, not just the children but also the birth families. I feel like I have an advantage with my feelings about adoption than most people. I had an opportunity early on to walk away and I chose to stay with Devin and walk this path with her. I was able to drop all my burden early on and move my life forward. Even though Devin has always know she could not have children she feels like this was placed on her but for me it is something I chose. That may not seem like a lot but that distinction had made an incredible difference. I sometimes get a little frustrated with the process of adoption but I have never doubted that adoption is what we are going to do. I love to be with family and we love having company over for meals. We love adoption we have several friends and co-workers who have been touched by adoption and we look forward to adopting when the time comes.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Weekly update from Jared

Due to the contest I'm late in getting this out. Our family should have received this in their e-mail too. Love you all!!


Devin’s aunt Gretchen came and stayed with us this week. She came to visit Granddad and Grandma Hurst. She was not really here to hang with us and so we did not see her much. She did confess to something I got a good laugh at though. One of the first nights she was here she was in the other room and heard Devin and I raising our voices. I heard through the grapevine Gretchen thought we where fighting, and she thought it had to do with her visit. I guess she was relived to find out we where laughing and having a great time. We always love to have company over and visit. We will always try and keep our rare arguments away from you. I will say that more times than not we will have raised voices especially if they are laughing in good fun.
In case anyone forgot I am the Scout Master in my ward. This week we were working on the citizenship in the community merit badge. This gave me an opportunity to sit down and think about myself and what it means to be a good citizen in the community. It does not matter what you do but the most important thing is to be involved in your community. That can be doing simple things like removing water from your neighbor’s driveway. I know this sounds weird especially to all those in our family who live in warm climates, but it really is a problem here in UT especially in the winter. It could also mean going and doing service cleaning trails in your local park. Just taking the time to talk to you neighbors even makes a big difference. I would like to give a special thank you to my brothers Tyler and Josh for their service in the military. Because of their service not only to their community but to their nation Devin and I went and voted on Tuesday. I am very grateful for the opportunity to be in this country and vote for the people who will represent me in government. This is a special duty we all have and I am happy to do so.

Saturday Devin and I watched our neighbor’s kids while they went out on a date. They have 5 kids ranging in age from 4-13. The 4 year old wanted to build a fort, so we went upstairs and pulled the mattresses off of all the twin beds and built a fun little fort. That quickly got boring and I got an idea. Does a mattress fit in the hall. I grabbed on of the mattresses and tried it out. Not only did the mattress fit. the mattress barely fit. That is an excellent thing especially if you want to do something crazy like line the stairwell with mattresses. We had 2 mattresses going down and one mattress as a landing pad. I am pretty sure none of the kids wanted to crash on the tile. Since the mattresses barely fit they did not slide much when coming down the stairs. Everyone had fun fighting their way up the stairs while someone else came down. This went on for a very long time. To bad for all you people in TX who do not have a good stairwell you will just have to come up here and visit to join in all the fun.
Devin has been reminding me that this month is National Adoption Month. I am a little disappointed at the level of national recognition. Last month every where you looked there where signs to remind everyone about breast cancer. I know that it is easier to get men behind the cause of not letting a good breast go to waste, but that does not make our cause less interesting. OK I will admit for the men it is probably a lot less interesting. Devin and I just want to say thanks to everyone who has kept us in your prayers as we have gone through the adoption process. As a quick update Devin and I are still waiting to hear anything from LDS family services. We have not had much luck. We are still licensed foster parents but Devin’s school is preventing us from taking children full time. They are excited for Devin to finish school because having a nurse will allow them to send kids with special needs to our home. We enjoy having any kids over and playing with them. We look forward to building our family. We love you all and hope you have an interesting and fun week.

WINNER!

We have a winner!


Congratulations Jeni and Bart! I will be in touch about specifics. Many, many thanks to all those who were nominated, those who voted, and a special thanks to Jessalynn for providing this fabulous prize.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Nominees

So... I guess only one of you know someone who could use this great photo shoot give away. WELL! Guess what? I happen to know several. So here's what I'm going to do... I will have four nominees (one of which was nominated by an outside source! not telling which couple ;0) thank you to the person who nominated them- you know who you are!) So read the 4 following paragraphs telling about them... and vote! The voting poll is on the side, at the top. I will have it open until Tues. at midnight. I'll announce the winner on Wed. PLEASE, PLEASE VOTE!! This is an awesome opportunity to help a family get FREE photos! The 4 nominees are:


Autumn and Nate


Anybody who knows Nate and Autumn knows how amazing this couple is. They work hard to serve all those around them, putting their need before their own. They are excellent parents to their two kids. The whole family is very intelligent and giving.



Jeni and Bart


They are an incredible family of 5! Bart and Jeni are one of the most service oriented people around. They do everything in their power to live by the Spirit and do what is right. They are definitely great examples to all around them.



Mollie and Elliot


What a fabulous couple this is! They were just blessed with twins after some fertility struggles. They are so fun, outgoing, and love to have fun. You can't help but smile and absolutely love this sweet couple.



Wendy and Shane




What isn't good to say about this cute couple? Whenever they're around you can just tell the love they have for each other and others around them. They have definitely had their struggles, but have always maintained a positive attitude. It is wonderful what Shane and Wendy are accomplishing with their family.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

The Slide

So... I wasn't planning on doing a posting until I announced the nominees of the photo shoot... BUT I just had to post this. Tonight we were asked to watch our friend's kids. Jared, being the creative and fun man he is had a brilliant idea. We called it the stair slide. We all had a fun time. This includes Buddy. It was funny to watch Buddy ran out of steam before the kids! Enjoy the pictures and videos!







Thursday, November 4, 2010

Photo Shoot GIVEAWAY!




Jessalynn Speight, who recently took our pictures, asked if I'd be willing to host a photography giveaway! HECK YA!! This will be fun. So here's what you have to do to get a free photography shoot:

Think of a family (yes, couples without kids are a family) who could use this. Whether it's to promote adoption, they just had an extremely hard trial in their life, a family who could use updated photos, etc. OH! The family has to live in Utah or Salt Lake County.

E-mail me (jndpayne@gmail.com) a bit about them, why you nominate them,... whatever you want to tell to help them win. Please include a pic. of them. I will accept entries until Sun.

On Sun. I will post a poll on my blog where people can vote. I will have the poll close on Tues. at midnight. Winner will get the awesome prize!


If you want to see some of Jessalynn's work visit her photography website here.

Good luck to everyone!!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Lullaby For a Birthmom

I saw this on facebook today (Thanks again Jessa!) and totally have to share it. Birth moms are definitely my heroes. So here's too all you amazing birth mom's out there...

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Open or Closed adoption?

Today I'd like to talk about how open are we willing to be when we do get placed. To put it simply, we'd like our birth family to have an extended family approach. So the birth mom would be like a very close, favorite aunt.

We want the birth family to be involved. We'd love to have them come to birthday parties, see them for the holidays, etc. We'd love to talk the family on the phone, text, have them look at our blog, send them pictures. We'd even love to have the birth family over for dinner, or just stop in for a visit. We'd love to come visit too, if the birth family wants ... I think you get the picture though.

Overall though, we want the birth family as involved as they want to be. We never want to make our birth family wonder. We don't want to make the child wonder about where they came from. When we do get placed... assuming we get to name the baby... we plan on giving the baby a name from their birth family. So the birth mom's first name, birth dad's first name, a last name... something to help remind the child of their birth family. We'd love to have pictures of the birth family in the child's room and around the house. If the birth family does not feel comfortable with a lot of contact, that's okay for us too. We want to do what's best and comfortable for everyone involved. We hope everyone feels like their family is growing as the adoption progresses.

I hope we were able to convey what we're feeling and want.

Monday, November 1, 2010

National Adoption Month!

Yay for adoption! November, as I just found out, is national adoption month. AWESOME! I'm so excited that they dedicated a month to this amazing event. I don't know that I'll post every day (like some adoption bloggers) but I thought I'd start out by talking a bit more about our adoption story and my feelings on it. If I'm lucky Jared will post his feelings too. I will try to dedicate my postings this month to adoption though... just FYI.

Anyway~ I grew up knowing I'd have to adopt. Let me back track... growing up, as a little kid, I thought I would HAVE to adopt. I don't really want to go into the whole story... you can go to our adoption section if you want the detail on why I grew up thinking this way. Sorry, back on track. So... adoption has always been a fact of life... or so I thought... growing up. During my teenage years my wonderful sisters all started telling me that they would be willing to donate their eggs to me. Yeah... I don't think so. As great of an offer that really is... I think I would struggle knowing that I was biologically the child's aunt. I don't know. We've had several siblings ask us to be the guardians of their kids in an event of both them and their spouse dying... and I'm totally honored to do that. I just think I would struggle raising a kid from birth like that. Hope that makes sense. HOWEVER, my sisters did get my thinking about invetro ... getting an egg donor, or something like that... just never seemed right. There are so many great birth families out there... looking for an adoptive couple to parent their child. Like I've posted before... what a special and sacred experience to be a part of too. I can't remember where exactly I heard this but someone was trying to give their "condolences" to an adoptive mother. This someone said "I'm so sorry you have to adopt". What really touched me was the adoptive mother's response "I'm sorry you can't"! LOVE IT. And obviously, even if you have biological children you can still adopt. It got me thinking about how incredible an opportunity I have in this life to have my family through adoption. It's little things like that, that have really helped me gain a testimony of adoption.

Now, adoption is HARD! and we haven't even been placed yet. The hardest part (so far, and from speaking to other adoptive couples) seems to be the uncertainty. Will I wake up tomorrow to a phone call telling me that I have a kid? Will I be waiting for another couple of years? Will the birth mom decide to parent the child after all? I won't lie... I've shed many, many tears over all this. Like I've said before though... I know without a shadow of a doubt that Heavenly Father has a plan for us, He's aware of us, and loves us. Placement will happen when it's right.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Pack meeting Halloween party

Devin has been updating most of our stuff lately on our blog but she asked that I write this update. I hope you enjoy it. First of all I have recently been asked to fill in as Cub Master while there is a transition in the calling. I was happy to do so. If I got to pick my calling and only had to have one calling I would pick Cub Master. This is a calling that is just a party thrower. Once a month you get a whole bunch of people together and throw a party. This month is Halloween so I got to throw a Halloween party. Being the master of ceremonies and getting to hand out awards to the boys is an awesome perk to the job. Devin and I had a awesome setup. We went dressed up as Mad Scientists. I was dressed head to toe in black with medical scissors and syringes hanging out of my pockets. Devin loaned me a stethoscope; she had a couple of them. I also got to dye my hair red. Devin dressed in red and white scrubs and had some medical equipment as well. Devin even took the plunge and did something she had never done before. She frizzed her hair a little and dyed her hair BLACK. She looked like a crazy woman. We finished off our costumes by putting fake blood all over our hands arms and faces.


We started the whole shindig with Devin carting in all our stuff for the pack meeting. I had a cart with awards and other gruesome things. We had one boy getting rank advancement and that was very exciting for him. We talked about the role of the werewolf. Werewolves are the guardians, the protectors. I will admit they are to protect vampires but that is besides the point. We talked about protecting others and not joining in on hurting those who need protection. Then in order to get his award he had to eat something off my cart. He decided to eat a 6 foot long Vampire Vein. I dropped the Vein into his mouth a foot at a time with everyone cheering him on.


The next boy to get an award decided he wanted to try one of my werewolf huevos. He pulled out a large huevo and ate it down. There is nothing like rocky mountain oysters to get a belt loop.


The next boy tried the final item on my table, Franken Fingers. Yes they are the severed fingers of Frankenstein’s monster.


We continued to call people up and one of the boys almost puked after taking a bite out of a werewolf huevo. We then had several games for the boys to play that where much more traditional. Devin and I hung donuts from strings while the boys ate them without hands. Musical Chairs was played at another station you know party games. The kids had an extremely fun time playing and pack meeting was an astounding success.
After scouts Devin sprinted up the stairs and made a bee line to the shower. She felt disgusting in her awesome costume. While Devin got cleaned up I started to wrestle with our dog Buddy. Buddy loves to wrestle! We pushed on each other for a few minutes when I realized that my dog was no longer white. He was beginning to change from white to red. I guess the fake blood on my arms and the dye in my hair where not very stuck to my body. He loved the game but I decided to stop before Devin got out of the shower with a red dog.

We hope everyone enjoys their Halloween as much as we did and wish everyone the best.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

and it continues...

the wait that is. The wait to be placed with a precious little one. So~ I'm not meaning for this to be a "pitty" post. It just seems like lately adoption has come up in conversation a lot. Hence, I've been thinking of it more than usual. So I decided to write a post about my recent thoughts and feelings. Don't feel obligated at all to keep reading. But if you do, I have to apologize if the thoughts are a bit scattered. Hopefully they make sense though.

My first thoughts are about birth families, especially the birth moms. I don't think I could ever completely express my gratitude and admiration for these women and birth families. I think it'd take the act of maturity to be able to place. Anyway~ the love these ladies and their families would have to have to be able to place their child in the care of another family is... incredible. Next to the atonement of Christ, I don't think there is more of a selfless act of love.

I've been made aware of ... from off the top of my head, 2 teenage young women that are pregnant. From what I understand they are going back and forth between placement or not. Obviously I would say place! BUT ... what these young women have to decide is what is best for #1 their baby and #2 for themselves. Yes... baby comes before them. I was talking with a friend the other night... her sister is a birth mom. This birth mom said that she knew that this baby was sent to save her... but to be a part of the adoptive family. Does that make sense? This birth mom was living a life that was leading to total chaos and misery when she got pregnant. When she found out she was pregnant, birth mom had to decide what to do about placement, abortion, etc... she knew that adoption was the way to go for her. Making such a magnificent choice really opened this birth mom's eyes and helped her through the repentance process... getting her back on the path birth mom wanted to be on. I don't know why, but when my friend told me this story it just really hit me. What strength! This story also made me it apparent to me that when birth mom did what was best for baby... she herself got blessings untold AND so did the adoptive couple AND so did the baby. I don't even want to think of what would have been missed out on by birth family, adoptive family, and baby. NOW! Don't get me wrong... I'm not saying adoption is right in every situation. The point I'm trying to make is... when people listen to the prompting of the spirit so many countless blessings unfold.

I've also lately been feeling the peace and comfort about our specific situation. Yes, I still have my impatient times and I just want to know when. I know without any doubt that "when" will happen when it is right... in the Lord's time. I know until that time I need to just keep loving life and living every day to it's fullest. Until "when" I need to focus on school, my cub scouts, my husband and family... I know the Lord is mindful of us, our situation and when the time is right we will be blessed and honor to have a baby ... and birth family... join our family.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Photo Shoot




Hey everyone~ Below is a link to see all the photos Jessalynn took of us. I think she did amazing! Thanks so much again Jessalynn!! We owe you.

OR

you can look at the picture section of our blog. Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Grandpa Zobrist


Today is sad, yet happy, day. My grandpa passed away. He was 83 years old. Grandpa was definitely a one of a kind man. Grandpa was married to my grandma for ... just less then 50 years. She passed away April of 1998. LaDonna (she's the one in the above photo), his second wife, has been in the family about 5 years? Sorry... I may be off on how long things are. Anyway~ Grandpa, my dad, and some other family owned a poultry company for years. We'd love to go to work with my parents, play with Grandpa and Uncle Reed (my dad's uncle, my grandpa's brother). Of course Grandpa and Uncle Reed giving candy and money always helped. Melissa (my younger sister) definitely got the good end of that deal. My fondest memories are of Grandpa swimming with us grandkids. My grandparent's, as far as I'm concerned, ALWAYS had a pool in their backyard. Every Sunday we'd go see my grandparents at their house. It was definitely good times.

*Below is a 4 generation picture (with the 3rd generation missing). In there is my nephew, his grandfather (my dad), and Dad's Dad (my grandpa).



So why do I say it's a sad, yet happy, day? It's sad because, of the obvious. I'm going to miss my grandpa dearly. Since I moved from home I hadn't gotten to see him as often. I'd look forward to seeing him when I'd go home. He's Grandpa! It's happy though because... he was diagnosed with parkinsons about the beginning of this year. He was struggling and just was ready to go. It's happy because we know where Grandpa is, we know he's free of his pains and suffering, and more importantly... we know we'll see him again on the other side. Love you Grandpa! Miss you already!

Here's a link to his obituary... if you want to look.

Monday, October 11, 2010

best husband ever!



Yes, I truly have the best husband ever. I know there are several of you ladies who think you do, but I know I do. :0) Jared is always serving, caring about others. He spoils me like no other. Things like, he comes home from work to make dinner... when I've been the one at home. He's so dang patient with me and all those around us. He definitely has to be patient to have married me. I just love Jared so much and thought I'd share. :0) Sorry for the mushiness

Family fun!

These last couple of days has been a blast... full of family time. It started out on Sunday with us picking up my maternal grandparents and the 4 of us headed up north to a baby blessing. My cousin had baby number two at the beginning of Sept. We had to immediately leave after the blessing to head up further north. Jared's cousin recently returned home from spending two years in CA, serving a mission for our church. After he spoke in church, we all went to Jared's uncle and aunt's house for a dinner. It was so fun seeing everyone! Here are a couple of pictures from the Payne side. Unfortunately I couldn't get any at the baby blessing.

Jared's paternal grandparents, Jared's older sister, and her three kids



Think he wants the cookie?? :0)


Cookie? What cookie?



Then tonight, Monday, we meet up with Jared's brother, his family, Jared's cousin, her family, and Jared's paternal grandparents. We went out to dinner and enjoyed time talking, having fun.

Us with Papa and Grandma Payne


And these pictures don't do justice to the fun... I promise. We didn't think to pull out the camera while the real fun was happening.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Weekend

This last weekend was a blast! Unfortunately I didn't get as many pictures as I was hoping too. Anyway~ we had Jared's sister, her family, her in-laws, Jared's brother, his family, and Jared's other brother. lol Did you follow all that? ;0) We had a fun visiting, playing, and lots of food. The most important part was General Conference! For those who don't know, general conference happens every 6 months. It's where we get to hear from the leaders of our church. They give wonderful guidance and encouragement. Always a spiritual upliftment. Let's just say I have lots to work on.

Here's a little video of Buddy "dancing" with Jared, our nieces, and nephew.





He normally "dances" better. I think he knew I was recording. :0)

I have to tell you about another cute/funny thing Buddy did. These last couple of days has been on and off storms. This means mud! Mud everywhere. I let Buddy out in the yard to go do his business. I checked on him maybe 2 mins. later and this is how I found him...



definitely a face only a mother can love. lol